Friday, 24 November, 2017

Boris Johnson cancels Moscow visit over Syrian chemical weapons attack

Melinda Barton | 20 April, 2017, 06:21

The official also said that the United States bombing was meant to send a message to the Syrian regime that any use of chemical weapon will not be tolerated by the US.

In a separate statement, Kremlin said that Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani noted in phone call that "aggressive" USA actions against Syria are not permissible. "If you look at his actions, if you look at his situation, it's going to be hard to see a government that's peaceful and stable with Assad".

On Thursday night, the United States launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the military airfield in Ash Sha'irat.

Graham spoke several days after Trump unilaterally ordered a missile attack on a Syrian airbase in response to Assad's deadly chemical weapons attack on civilians and as the Trump administration tried to explain its foreign policy.

Russian Federation had warned on Friday that the United States cruise missile strikes on the Syrian air base could have "extremely serious" consequences, following U.S. president Donald Trump's first major foray into a foreign conflict.

Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, said "getting Assad out is not the only priority" and that countering Iran's influence in Syria was another.

Slamming Syrian ally Russian Federation for its support to the Assad regime, Haley said: "Every time Assad has crossed the line of human decency, Russian Federation has stood beside him".

"The failure related to the recent strike and the recent bad chemical weapons attack in large measure is a failure on Russia's part to achieve its commitment to the global community", Tillerson said in an interview aired on ABC on Sunday. "There's a new sheriff in town", Graham said.

McCain also said he disagrees with Tillerson's contention that the U.S. has to deal with Assad before it can fight terrorists in Syria and Iraq, acknowledging "we can walk and chew gum".

The kingdom is among the most vehement opponents of Assad and supports Sunni rebel groups fighting to oust him.

The reported investigation follows Moscow's condemnation of the U.S. missile strike on the Syrian airfield.

"Rest assured that we will liberate Syria from all kinds of occupying forces, it does not matter from where they came to the occupied part of Syria", the statement warned. "Tonight I call on all civilized nations to join us in seeking to end the slaughter and bloodshed in Syria and also to end terrorism of all kinds and all types". Six Syrian air force planes undergoing repairs at the base were destroyed, but the runways were undamaged, the Guardian quoted the Russian defence ministry saying after the attack.

Johnson said he had discussed his plans "in detail" with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, adding that Tillerson would still visit Moscow as planned following the G7 summit on April 10-11 to "deliver that clear and coordinated message to the Russians".

Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev also said that the USA strikes were one step away from clashes with Russia's military.